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Monday, February 07, 2005
 
Solaris: lofiadm - Mounting an ISO image on Solaris file system

On Solaris 8 and later versions, it is not necessary to create CD's for the downloaded ISO images. Instead of burning the image to a CD-ROM to access its contents, it is easy to mount the image directly into the file system with the help of lofiadm and mount commands

lofiadm administers lofi, the loopback file driver. lofi allows a file to be associated with a block device. That file can then be accessed through the block device. This is useful when the file contains an image of some file system (such as a floppy or CD-ROM image), because the block device can then be used with the normal system utilities for mounting, checking or repairing filesystems

Govinda% unzip sol-10*.zip
Archive: sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.zip
inflating: sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.iso

Govinda% su
Password:
Given an ISO image in /export/home/techno/sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.iso, a loopback file device (/dev/lofi/1) is created with the following command (note: pathname of the iso should be absolute, but not relative):
#  lofiadm -a sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.iso /dev/lofi/1

lofiadm: pathname is not an absolute path -- sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.iso

# lofiadm -a /export/home/techno/sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.iso /dev/lofi/1
The lofi device creates a block device version of the file:
# lofiadm

Block Device File
/dev/lofi/1 /export/home/techno/sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.iso
And then mount the block device on /mnt with the following command:
# mount -F hsfs -o ro /dev/lofi/1 /mnt

Tip:
All the above commands can be combined into a single command as follows:
mount -F hsfs -o ro `lofiadm -a /export/home/techno/sol-10-ccd-GA-x86-iso.iso` /mnt


# ls /mnt
components installer README volstart
Once done using the files from CD image, unmount the lofi block device
# umount /mnt

Finally remove the association of loopback file device as follows:
# lofiadm -d /dev/lofi/1


# lofiadm
Block Device File
Resource:
Solaris man page of lofiadm


Comments:
Lofi is good hack, but has serious performance penalty, so it is not advised to ex. jumpstart

If mounting the /install directory remotely, and starting a copy, u experience the following:

FROM LOFI:

time cp -rp Product /opt/tmp/

real 31m19.697s
user 0m5.270s
sys 3m47.480s

FROM UFS:

time cp -rp Product /opt/tmp/

real 13m11.452s
user 0m5.390s
sys 3m42.150s
 
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